How To Get the Best Trade-In Value for Your Car
If you are planning to buy a new car, you are probably depending on getting a good trade-in price for your existing one. Most new car purchases require a deposit, but this can often be covered by how much you get for your existing vehicle. In fact, if you manage to maximize your trade-in price, this can more than cover the amount of money you need to put down – meaning that your ongoing monthly payments for your new car will also be lower.
However, the trade-in value that you get depends on a lot of different factors – and some dealers are less generous than others when it comes to how much they pay for trade-ins. Therefore, the first thing you should do when buying a new car is to research the trade-in value of your existing vehicle. There are a number of good ways to do this, including looking at the amount that people actually pay dealers for your make and model. You can find out this information on TrueCar – they get information from dealers on how much people pay and put this online. You might think that you won’t get a lot because the dealer has to make a profit – but this is not necessarily the case. If you negotiate with the dealer and make it clear that you have other alternatives, then they may be willing to resell your trade-in at cost. Alternatively, you could sell your car privately – but this can be inconvenient and you’re not guaranteed to get the best price.
Getting the timing right is also important, since some cars sell better at certain times of the year. For example, if you have a convertible and live in Chicago, the winter is a very bad time to try to get a good trade-in price because the car is going to sit on the dealer’s lot until spring. On the other hand, if you have a 4 x 4, then you may actually get a better price during the winter.
Make sure that the car is in the best possible condition when you take it in. Obviously, there’s no point in making major repairs, since the cost of doing this is more than you will recoup on your trade-in price. However, it is worth making small repairs – such as polishing out that scratch on the wing mirror. Also, if you smoke or carry pets in your car, this can leave an unpleasant smell that creates a bad first impression. While this odor can be removed quite easily, the dealer may give you significantly less if you don’t get rid of it before you show up at their lot.
Finally, make sure that you have all of your car’s maintenance records when you go to the dealer. Don’t show these right away – negotiate a trade-in price first. Once you have done this, then tell the dealer that you forgot to tell them that you had all your maintenance records, and then ask them if they can give you anything extra because of this.